Greek police and immigrants during an identity check, August 2012 (Photo: Pantelis Saitas/EPA)
In Greece, a country of 11 million people, there are 2.5 million immigrants. Considering gray area in the statistics, there may be at least 3 million.
During the last three years, immigrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and Africa have often paid between $3,000 to $5,000 per person to be transferred on Turkish ships via the Mediterranean. Usually the Turkish traffickers abandon them mid-sea close to some Greek island and tell them to swim. Needless to say, many drown. If they are fortunate, a Greek ship might help them and they will get temporary assistance from locals while the police and the State turn a blind eye. On rare occassions, they are detained in a so-called refugee camp, either a derelict school or an open space with tents without food, medication, clothes, and other care.